Global Handwashing Day: Why Hand Washing Soap and Water Should be Viewed as a DIY Flu Deterrent

Posted by Steve Thielke on Oct 11, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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Each year on October 15 millions of people around the world recognize the intrinsic importance of hand washing with soap by participating in Global Handwashing Day, established by Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW).

This simple and affordable act of washing up with soap and water, is touted by world health experts to be a highly effective way to arm ourselves against flu viruses and other sickness-causing bacteria. At it’s core, hand washing is a do-it-yourself health step that prevents illness and saves lives around the world.

            For the past eight years, Bradley Corporation has conducted the Healthy Hand Washing Survey to draw awareness of the health benefits of sudsing up with soap and water in public washrooms. And, for the most part, Americans get the hand washing message loud and clear, but some still have some due diligence when it comes to following through with the act.

According to the latest survey:

  • 97% believe it’s important to wash their hands after using a public restroom
  • Just 66% always wash their hands
  • 25% say they usually wash hands
  • 5% wash half of the time
  • 3% usually don’t
  • 1% say they never wash up after using a public restroom.
  • 82% say they’ve regularly or at least occasionally seen others leave a public restroom without washing their hands

Why, you may ask, wouldn’t people wash after a restroom visit? Especially if almost everyone says hand washing is important? Turns out that lack of soap or paper towels are the most frequently cited reasons. That means adequate restroom maintenance, cleaning and stocking play a big part in the hand washing equation.

            The survey does contain good news about hand washing habits: 70% report they suds up more frequently, more thoroughly or longer when they hear about a flu virus going around.

And with cold and flu season already upon many of us, make sure you and your loved ones are well-armed with lots of good ole’ soap and water.

Topics: Global Handwashing Day

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